Hougang By Elections Update 2!

"PAP vs WP"

Desmond Choo (L) and Png Eng Huat (R).


Workers’ Party nominee has been announced, with little surprise.
Mr Png Eng Huat, a businessman will be WP’s candidate for the By Elections in Hougang.

Little is known about him but he stepped up after the infamous Yaw Shin Leong, former Member of Parliament for Hougang, was sacked by the Workers’ Party for personal indiscretions. While Low of WP initially maintained that those were just rumors, they eventually sacked him because he did not turn up for the meetings to clarify matters.
If someone Low has known for so long could have indiscretions which Low did not know about, what makes anyone think that Mr Png would be more trustworthy or have integrity? I’m not doubting whether Mr Png has integrity or not. I am questioning if Low and his party knows Mr Png well enough?

Yaw Shin Leong’s scandal was the first in Singapore. The first time an Opposition got into Parliament by winning a GRC and the first time a MP was sacked by his party for indiscretions. Till date, Yaw Shin Leong has not stepped up to clarify. Some friends call him a coward. I don’t know better – but I wished he came up to speak, be clear and as the phrase goes “BE A MAN.”

According this Channelnewsasia article, I quote Low’s impression of Png:

“He described Mr Png as mature and the “right candidate” for the by-election.
Mr Low said he has known Mr Png before the 2006 General Election.
He said he observed the way he works for some time and is confident that he’s a person of integrity.
Mr Low said Mr Png is sincere in serving the people. He believes Hougang needs someone like Mr Png, who can connect with its residents.
Mr Low said if elected, Mr Png can contribute to the party’s leadership and parliamentary work.”

The answer logically is simple – because Png wasn’t as good as Yaw so WP decided to send Yaw instead!

Well, the truth is we never know everything even if we have spent a long time with them. Sincerity cannot be judged, it is tested and only seen over time. Integrity can only be revealed over time. Also don’t know what parliamentary work is Png going to support.. maybe be like Pritam, take someone’s else work and present it as his without attributing the source at the time of speech. Damn, you can get sacked from your university course for plagarism…. Or be like Gerald who didn’t know about MX9.. Old news but relevant nonetheless.

Well, the same might be said that we don’t know Desmond Choo, PAP’s candidate, for long. But Desmond, at least, he’s been working hard for more than 1 year while the WP MP was sorely Missing In Action (hence no speech link..)

Actually, I want a peaceful by election. One that is honourable and with integrity. For candidates of quality to fight cleanly and maintain peace amongst the people of Singapore. And for Mr Tan-Jee-Say-I-Don’t-Know-Be-MP-or-President-so-I-Just-Join-Both-Elections-And-Ended-Up-Losing-Both to just stop his press releases. It’s getting *quite* annoying every time he opens his mouth.

Psst. I prefer Desmond Choo. Like his Facebook page here.


No fixed time within which by-election must be called: PM Lee

Naturally the papers were thrown wide open this morning on News regarding the by-election.

PM Lee’s answer naturally gave me a little dilemma: Nation or Town?

Electorate size
Nation: about 2.27 million +/- (source: Elections Department)
Town: about 24555 +/- (source: Wikipedia)

24555/ 2270000 = ~0.0108% (nearest 4 figures..)

It is true that there are many urgent issues on the national agenda.
View of Singapore’s economic growth remains cautious at 1-3%. Press release from MTI here.
I must say I’m glad we still have projected growth otherwise.. some of us might be out of job.

Others such as immigration concerns, housing concerns, social concerns, security concerns – just many concerns. Oh and aging population concerns since we might not want eldercare beneath our void decks

Now I have hunger concerns. Time for lunch.

Historical moment: By-elections!

Twitter has been a wild flurry of activities since the Workers’ Party issued a press releasing informing the Public that the Member of Parliament (MP) for Single Member Constituency (SMC) Hougang has been expelled from the party.

In Singapore’s Constitution, a by-election MUST be called when the Member of Parliament ceases to be a member of, whether via resignation or expulsion, the political party he represented for in the election.

The decision by the Workers’ Party CEC has certainly been influenced by public opinion and position on the need for transparency and a commitment to high personal standards by the MPs. This sends a clear signal to their supporters who have condoned his behaviour.

Extracted from this Straits Time article “Yaw Shin Leong meets Hougang residents at CNY dinner” dated 12 Feb: “Said long-time resident Johnson Chern, 45: ‘I was a little disappointed by the rumours, as an MP should lead by example. But I will still support him and the WP. He has done quite a good job as MP.’

A particularly interesting supporter is former Presidential candidate, Mr Tan Kin Lian. His posts are slightly lengthy and I shall add some visitorship to his site through this link: Workers’ Party and Yaw Shin Leong.

Is Workers’ Party truly up to scrunity? Is the expulsion sufficient?

Some questions to consider:

1. The duration taken to address the issue. The issue occurred even before the Chinese New Year. Yet, they did not pursue it.. until YSL stepped down as a treasurer.. The question then was “Why did he step down? Guilty?” Why have they finally expelled him? Public pressure? Party’s image? Despite their justifications, I believe they had no choice but to do so or risk marring the party’s image further.

2. YSL’s public appearances. Despite the allegations, YSL was empowered by the party (since they did not expel him them) to continue representing them at the Meet the People session and also most recently at a Chinese New Year celebration. Article here.

In contrast, when the civil servants from CNB and SCDF were (and are) being investigated for gross personal misconduct, the Government took it upon themselves to suspend them from their duties. By failing to restrict YSL’s activities as a Public figure and as member of Workers’ Party, we must question the message and values implied by their decision… and YSL.. was he too smug in attending and maintaining his silence on the allegations?

3. Sylvia Lim informed the media that they informed YSL of their decision to expel him through his wife “… because Mr Yaw was uncontactable.” (Extracted from Channelnewsasia article: Workers Party expel Yaw Shin Leong dated 15 Feb 2012)

The Hougang grassroots did not seem to have the same difficulty in contacting Mr Yaw when they invited him to the Chinese New Year party! 

Also, if the inquiry process was really really really really transparent.. they could have asked the alleged third party, who is supposedly pregnant, from their party to and was also a running candidate in the General Elections, to clarify, deny or confirm the truth of the allegations!

By solely placing the blame on Mr Yaw, who has since been expelled, has Workers’ Party truly been transparent?

Or was it because it was forced to “show hand”?

One can only guess.. just as the public is left guessing on the validity of the allegations… in spite of what seems like disciplinary actions against Mr Yaw.

4. Mr LTK left Hougang to contest in a bigger constituency Aljunied, forming what has been touted as an “A” team. He left a long time trusted man of his, Mr YSL, to contest and lead Hougang. Such a long time.. yet the character of the man couldn’t be read correctly. Today, the residents of Hougang have to go through a by-election. Money has to be spent, people have to be rallied – time and money.. precious commodities.. all because one man had a bigger appetite for more … and left someone of now-dubious character to lead Hougang.

Remember, it is not easy to find people of good character to lead a country. Temptations such as greed, lust, money, women and power..  will always seek out people in leadership, to seduce and distract.

I wonder who will Workers’ Party send as a representative for the by-election?
And who will PAP send?
Will other parties come in to contest? Afterall, WP did not explicitly state, like KJ who declared that Ang Mo Kio was his, that Hougang was theirs.

I’m excited.

You Say It Best.. When You Say Nothing At All


Hot off the press! Changes in the WP leadership! With two professional lawyers in their EXCO, the Workers Party has held its silence on the allegations concerning Mr Yaw. This means they could potentially sue anyone for defamation.. 

Today, they have however announced that Mr Yaw has stepped down from their Exco and the role has been filled by NMP Mr Yee. No reason given. 


*insert Ronan Keatings’s voice* YOU SAY IT BEST, WHEN YOU SAY NOTHING AT ALL.

So much for transparency. As a member of the Public, I DEMAND for transparency and clarification.